One of the biggest pains in spiritual deconstruction is lost community. We were bound together in Christ. When Christ is gone, that bond is broken. I feel this most pointedly at church when I am warned by the pastor not to take part in communion. The Lord’s table is for the Lord’s people, he tells us. For unbelievers like myself, it would be a meal of judgment rather than blessing.
Communion signals the kind of relationship Churchgoers are to have with each other: Eating from the same loaf and drinking from the same cup, as if all were one body. It’s like the feeding of the 5000; no one gets their own, but everyone gets enough.
On New Year’s Eve, I sat around a table with old friends. One of us had a glass of wine. Another came with a freshly-baked roll. Spontaneously, we tore pieces from the roll, dipped them in the wine, and ate together. I realized I don’t need church services for this kind of communion. I can commune with my people, wherever I find them.
Happy New Year, and may you have people to share bread and wine with.